Media advisory ahead of the Paris Agreement signing ceremony

Global transition

A record number of over 150 countries will sign the Paris Agreement at a ceremony at UN headquarters on 22 April, keeping up the momentum on climate action. Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, calls upon the EU leaders to walk the talk in honouring the Paris Agreement and ensure coherence between the Agreement’s objectives and the EU’s climate targets.

The signing ceremony will be an important step in turning the Paris Agreement into action, but it will also only be the easiest part of the task. The critical test of climate leadership will come with the ratification of the Agreement and putting it into effect.

According to CAN Europe, the EU risks falling behind other countries when it comes to both ratification and implementation. The ratification by the EU might take a very long time because of the internal wrangling among the EU Member States. Similarly, so far the EU has shown little appetite to strengthen its current climate and energy targets for 2030 and 2050, and to adjust them to the ambitious goals adopted in Paris, namely to pursue efforts to keep warming below 1.5°C and reduce carbon emissions to net zero in the second half of this century.

“The EU helped make the Paris Summit a success, but then set off to turn its outcomes into action at a snail’s pace” – Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe said. “Showcasing European leadership in climate action abroad entails that we walk the talk at home. The EU must be at a forefront in working to reach the goals adopted in Paris by increasing the level of ambition of its climate action.”

At the same time, various European stakeholders are gearing up to implement the Paris Agreement. In a statement published today, businesses, cities, trade unions and civil society groups united in the Coalition for Higher Ambition, expressed their readiness to play a part in delivering the objectives of the Agreement. They also urged the EU decision makers to adjust 2030 and 2050 greenhouse gas reductions targets to the long term goals of the Paris Agreement, in order to underpin their actions.


Contact: Ania Drazkiewicz, CAN Europe,, 00 32 494 52 57 38


Statement from the Coalition for Higher Ambition, 19 April 2016 here

Background briefing on signing and ratification of the Paris Agreement: to provide clarity on the various procedures following the adoption of the Paris Agreement and the EU’s situation here

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 30 European countries – representing over 44 million citizens – CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe.


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